Source: Sherman Publications

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Former village president dies

by CJ Carnacchio

July 13, 2011

Former Oxford Village President Renee Donovan died on Tuesday, July 5. She was 63 years old.

Donovan, who resided in Metamora at the time of her death, served on council from 2001, when she was appointed, until her resignation in May 2006. She was elected village president in March 2004 and remained such until she quit.

A number of significant events in Oxford politics and government occurred during Donovan's tenure on council.

In May 2003, Donovan's husband formed a pro-cityhood committee that two years later, initiated a petition drive to incorporate the village as a home rule city.

Council gave this movement its blessing and agreed to finance the legal aspects of the cityhood effort. Cityhood was ultimately rejected by village voters in August 2008.

Two of the largest lawsuits in recent village history the condemnation of the Groves' parking lot and the dissolution of the Oxford Public Fire and EMS Commission (OPFEC) commenced while Donovan served on council.

Donovan was also part of the council that in August 2004 voted 3-2 to approve plans for the Polly Ann Trail pedestrian bridge over M-24. She voted for it.

Outside of local politics, Donovan worked as a lines leader for the Oxford Meijer store.

When she resigned from council, Donovan announced her intention to move to Lapeer County, so she and her family could pursue their interest in drag racing.

Donovan was an ordained minister and involved in various organizations such as Civitan and 4-H.

She was born in Detroit in 1947 to William George and Priscilla Donovan, grew up in Oakland Township and attended Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School in Waterford. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Oakland University.

Donovan is survived by her husband of almost 25 years, Tracy A. Miller, Sr.; sons, Tracy Miller, Jr. and John Patrick Miller; and mother Priscilla Donovan.

She's also survived by brothers and sisters: Gregory Wm. Donovan, of Columbiaville; Catherine Janise Donovan, of Asheville, North Carolina; Jeffory Vincent ( Carol ) Donovan of Lake Placid, Florida; Theresa Andreé ( Thomas Knapp ) Donovan of Branford, Connecticut; Anne Marie Donovan, of Oxford; John Anthony Donovan, of Moore, Idaho; Matthew Gerard Donovan, of Oakland; Alice Jeanne Donovan of Cliffton, Texas; and Patrick Luke ( Sherry ) Donovan, of Lapeer.

Donovan was preceded in death by her father, William Donovan.

A memorial service for Donovan will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at her home in Metamora, located at 4066 Green Corners Rd.

Pastor Dave Gerber, of Oxford, will officiate.

Arrangements by Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Imlay City. Visit the on-line guestbook at